It had only been 17 days since Chicago Blackhawks forward Nick Foiligno had fractured his finger in a fight with New Jersey Devil Brendan Smith. Nick Foligno though was ready to go last night versus the Vancouver Canucks. That fight stemmed from a hit that Smith had on franchise center Connor Bedard on January 5th.
As the Hawks came into Vancouver a clear underdog to the best team in the league (standings wise) it was welcome news to hear that Chicago was gaining back it's 36 year old veteran. The Blackhawks would end up losing the match 2-0 and while a shutout loss in hindsight doesn't sound great, there were certainly positives to take away from the game.
Foligno, while shut out of the score sheet, had 7 shots in the road tilt north of the border. At just under 20 minutes on the ice (plus 2 minutes in the penalty box) Foligno seemed to have an extra gear as he catapulted a seemingly inept offense into multiple scoring chances in the 3rd period.
A shift that stood out was 4 minutes into the 3rd period as Nick Foligno not once but twice would put a reverse spin into motion to get around a defender. It was reminiscent of the move that Cale Makar so famously made when faking out former Blackhawk Kirby Dach and then scoring a highlight goal on future Hall of Famer Marc-Andre Fleury.
Despite the outcome, the Blackhawks saw a great team effort (especially from Nick Foligno and Alex Vlasic) and held the league's best team to just 2 goals at home against the 31st ranked franchise. With 31 shots on goal, winning faceoffs, and constantly winning board battles one can't help but think that getting #17 back in the lineup had a lot to do with it.